User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 195 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 9 out of 195

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  1. Sep 4, 2012
    0
    It was a horrible movie!The worst one I have seen so far. An absolutely meaningless plot with a tremendous amount of a brutal violence. I honestly have no idea why there is a film about a bunch of criminals who were selling the moonshine. What is so special about it? In those days it was very popular in Russia. Almost in every village there were people who were involved in such activities as producing the moonshine why do we need to spend two hours of our life just to stare at this disaster? Expand
  2. Dec 1, 2012
    3
    The movie was pretty subpar. The plot was very slow moving and not suspenseful at all. Furthermore the story of 3 unknown hill-dwelling bootlegger brothers really isn't very interesting and I'm not sure it necessitates a movie being made. Regarding the shots, I never understood why in the world they had so many closeups. There was also a very bizarre church scene that I did not know the point of. It simply was a movie I could not get into. The acting was good but that's about it. Collapse
  3. Oct 7, 2012
    4
    One would expect all these no doubt fantastic actors to select their projects with concise precision. Their craft is beyond imitation, and their portrayal of characters uniquely defined. It is in fact the dramatic deliverance in this piece that was particularly enjoyable.
    Unfortunately, the screenplay didn't keep up with this bargain. The characters followed a path that was cliché
    at best. There might have been a token surprise here and there, but, let's face it, we've seen this one before.
    I read in a review somewhere that this was a Bonnie and Clide for modern times...wow... Go have a look for yourselves.
    I can't chalk this up as a bad film, though. As I said, the acting was flawless enough to keep me interested, and the cinematography and music was perfectly orchestrated. Perhaps the screenwriters felt it was enough to stamp the "based on a true story" at the opening and just let it coast.
    If you have the patience, wait for the last forty-five minutes of the film. This is when the thing actually becomes semi interesting. And, yes, it all ends as you predicted in the first ten minutes of the movie.
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  4. Sep 9, 2012
    1
    Story was weak and violence was gratuitous. Not worth the price of a ticket. I would be willing to see Guy Pierce get a best supporting nod, in spite of the fact that the movie was not good.
  5. Jan 18, 2013
    3
    An action that takes the levels of action way to high.
  6. May 15, 2013
    3
    If it weren't for the wonderful cinematography and brilliant acting from Guy Pearce this movie would be a complete flop. Bootlegging prohibition movies usually excite me, but the plot in this movie has no meaningful plot whatsoever, it's completely pointless, which does not warrant the excessive brutal gore violence included in this movie. It makes me sick thinking about the brutality that is so unwarranted in this movie. One of the worst movies I've seen in awhile. Expand
Metascore
58

Mixed or average reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 38
  2. Negative: 1 out of 38
  1. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    Sep 3, 2012
    60
    An uneven mix of impressively executed, violent clichés about good ol' boys defending the American right to flout the law.
  2. Reviewed by: Jane Crowther
    Sep 1, 2012
    60
    Stylish and savage, but nothing you haven't seen before. Lawless is something of a blunt instrument but seductive nonetheless.
  3. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    Aug 31, 2012
    70
    Lawless is one of those films that, through seeming serendipity, has a cast that defines its moment. There have been others - "The Breakfast Club," "The Godfather" and "Silverado," to name one irrelevant and two relevant examples. But Lawless really lucked out.